Maybe it’s just in my nature, but I’ve always been drawn most strongly to poems that blend wit with sadness—perhaps because that seems like such a perfect reflection of the real world, but “reflection” in the sense of the Percy Bysshe Shelley quote: “Poetry is a mirror which makes beautiful that which is distorted.”

When I read Bob Pajich’s work, my first thought was, “Who is Bob Pajich and why am I not already teaching his poems in my poetry classes?!” Well, better late than never.

Anyone familiar with my work knows that I have a pretty strong bias toward narrative, but in my bloated and freely shared opinion, said narrative falls flat unless it has a tough skeleton of lyricism to hold it up and make it dance. That’s what I admire most about Pajich’s work—there’s narrative here, but there’s also a sense of a writer in love with language, and perhaps equally in love with observations.

These are not gelded ruminations on puppies and rainbows. This is the world as Pajich sees it, in all its glories and absurdities. These are poems of wry humor, flawed courage, and fragile beauty, and it is my privilege and pleasure to share them.

In this issue:
“Hiding Drugs in a Russell Edson Book”
“Bloomfield Driver”